I Was Only One Bloody Ground Slam Away From Loving Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

I Was Only One Bloody Ground Slam Away From Loving Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Proof positive that pre-release demos can make or break a game, my interest level in Relic Entertainment’s Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine went from zero to must-buy within 30 minutes of try-before-you-buy gameplay.

As far as Games Workshop’s most popular franchises go, I’ve always been more on the Warhammer Fantasy Battles side of things. One would think the idea of taking mythical creatures and races and outfitting them with futuristic weapons would be like crack to a guy like me, but somehow it never took hold. I guess I got my modern Orcs and Dwearves from FASA’s Shadowrun series instead.

But now I’m a believer.

This morning I caught Crecente raving about the demo, so I downloaded it myself and gave it a go. As you can see, I was rather pleased. It’s basically a beat-em-up with some shooter mixed in, but its done so well I could easily see myself beating up and shooting greenies ’til the squigs come home.

Warhammer 40.000: Space Marine hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC September 6.


  • *THIS* is the game I’ve been dreaming of since I was 14 in 1991 when I first got ‘Rogue Trader’ *sniffle*


    • I would think almost exactly the same thing – except i would have it as a squad based 3ps πŸ˜€


      got my collectors edition alllll pre-ordered! πŸ˜€

  • The demo kind of steered me AWAY from it. I was all set to buy it purely on the fact that it was a Relic game and 40k.

    The game just seemed a bit…messy? There’s a lot going on when you get into the fray, the hit indicators are huge and cover large portions of the screen. Combine that with some bad camera control and the Orks also blocking your view AND a fairly steep difficulty (on Normal), I was unsold.

      • PLUS there is nothing wrong with a game being a bit difficult.

        Plus, at least with it being difficult on normal, you can still drop down to easy if you really need to.

        • I soon realised that you need to play differently on the harder difficulties. Pick off as many as you can from range (particularly Shoota Boyz), then wade in with stun combos. Hitting melee+melee+melee+stun does an area-effect stun, allowing you to regain health with executions and buying a reprieve. Grenades are a must for thinning the hordes.
          Beating the demo on the hardest difficulty is challenging, but very doable once you adjust your approach.

          Also, to detonate the Vengeance Launcher grenades, hit reload. The game doesn’t make this obvious…

          • argh! i was wondering how to detonate those bombs, thank you sir, you’ve just made ambushes a very suitable tactic πŸ˜€

    • Play the demo before you rule it out.
      I checked it out this morning and OMFG it’s fun. It’s fun in a way I could not imagine from watching the clip.
      When I got the jumpack … *maniacal laughter*

      This game is a MUST.

  • I started downloading the demo this morning before leaving for work. Now I’m sitting at my desk and itching to go home and try it.

    The only thing that irks me a little is playing as the most boring chapter of all, the Vanilla Marines. I’m sure I’ll find a way to deal with it though, this looks really good.

    WTB DLC that lets me play as Chaos, or perhaps a more interesting loyalist chapter.

    • It’s rumored there will be a 5 player co-op so you can go in as a squad – but my guess is this will be more like horde mode. On the plus side, you should be able to use the rich customiser to use whatever chapter you want. πŸ™‚

      And It’s Smurf-Marines πŸ˜›

      I would love a dark angels game where you’re hunting down the fallen – that would be rad

      • I’m praying for a sequel where you can be Deathwing fighting Tyranids…


      • This in horde mode against waves upon waves of Tyranids or Orks. YES.

        I’ve always referred to them as Vanilla Marines – being the most uninteresting space marinbe chapter in all of the 40K universe, traitor or loyalist, but maybe that’s just me.

        I dream of leading a squad of Thousand Sons with Ahriman at the head raiding space hulks and other neglected locations in search or lost arcane knowledge. The final goal would be to locate the Black Library. =D

        Though, I’ll settle for this in the interim!

        • That would be pretty epic – i would LOVE a pre-heresy game, as well.

          The kind where you have the chance to change fate – stop one of the primarchs from turning/dying and the such.

          Do a modern warfare “heartstring moment” as one of the marine that drops into the middle of the drop site massacre when the Emporers Children turned.

          Perhaps a game that follows the fire hawks descent into becoming the legion of the damned. ect

          SOOO many posibilities

          • The Lion’s return to Caliban.
            Or the Imperial Fists, White Scars and Blood Angels defending the Imperial Palace during the Battle of Terra.

          • I’d love a chance to play as Leman Russ or one of his subordinates when the order was given to go after the Thousan Sons, that would be an amazing story to follow.

  • If the whole game was co-op I would probably be all over it but I prefer my singleplayer games with more complexity, or something.

  • My only problem with the game (which will most likely stay throughout the retail release) is that melee combat, while a big part of game, is a little too simple. Just a basic 3-hit combo.

    There will probably be other melee weapons that can mix this up, but I was hoping there would have been more variety in attacking.

  • I have to agree I had the same experience as Mike. Although I’ve been a fan of the Dawn of War series, I didn’t think Space Marine would interest me at all. However, I decided to give the demo a try and enjoyed it so immensely that I’m planning on acquiring it!!! πŸ˜€

  • will they fix his face? when he does those executions on orks – he has the most plain machine-like face on. it doesn’t move or give any kind of violent expression at all.

  • The combo moves seemed a little dull and repeatative to me.
    I did like the ease of mixing guns into those combos though.

  • Downloaded the demo and played it last night.

    I must say that I was kinda impressed, I had expected the worst with this game, but i have been converted.

    Collectors Edition pre-ordered. πŸ™‚

  • The game sorta reminds me of Darksiders which isn’t such a bad thing. I wonder how many variations of execution there are?
    And I totally agree that another chapter would’ve been better.
    Hell they should do a Trilogy on the Horus Heresy… Could you imagine using the Primarchs or even the Emperor … ho ho ho

  • The demo is sort of like Gears, but instead of the ability to go into cover (which I sort of missed), they’ve implemented a more sophisticated melee system. So you sort of shoot as you’re closing, but then you’re in close combat and it’s out with the chainsword. The melee system isn’t that simple. Each weapon has a different set of eight different combos, on top of the stun/sync kill which changes depending on a number of factors (weapon type, enemy type and your location relative to the target when you activate the kill, so far as I can tell). It’s very satisfying (and bloody!) to literally chainsaw an Ork in half.

    All of this pales in comparison to the satisfaction of using the jetpack. Doing a groundslam into a cluster of Orks simply does not get old.

    That said, I was fully intending to pre-order the game, but playing the demo did push this to a ‘buy second-hand a few months after release’ category for me. It just didn’t seem very deep. Move to area, engage enemies, repeat. Fun, but not ‘must-play-now’ level fun. If the multiplayer portion picks up in my circle of friends that may encourage me to pick it up earlier, but I suspect BF3 will be dominating XBL during the immediate release window so I don’t need to rush to it.

    Can we get some confirmation on these co-op rumours? Even 2 or 3 player campaign co-op would VASTLY change the appeal of game, and the fact that the demo always has two companions with you does seem to indicate this might be a direction.

  • According to wikipedia: “You are able to play through the campaign in cooperative mode with up to four additional friends.”

    This is, frankly, amazing. This definitely pushes this to a day-one buy for me. I *love* co-op, and I don’t think I’ve played a game that allows for up to five-player campaign co-op. I mean, think about the jump-pack level in the demo- one player goes up in the air while the others stay on the ground. This is so exciting to me, the multi-level combat, players playing different types of Marine unit (Devastator, Librarian) that support each other in their combat roles. Fantastic! I’m really excited now- I think the demo does itself a dis-service by not showing this aspect of the game more fully, because I think the cooperative aspect will be one of the big drawcards.

    Unfortunately, the article that the wikipedia seems to site to back up the claim of five-player coop campaign does not seem to be definitive on the issue- can Kotaku confirm this via an official source? It’s definitely the difference between a good game and a great game in my eyes.

  • I like the demo, its pretty good and I’ve never been into War 40k. But I’ll be buying it ’cause its co-op.

  • Wow. Cool. I’m a huge 40k fan but previous videos made me wary that it was a bad Gears clone, and gave me chills of repeats of Fire Warrior.

    But that? NOW I WANT!

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!